This page will help you understand some of the issues in adopting a child from another country.
The decline in the number of children available for adoption in the U.S. and many other western counties, the long waiting lists of many domestic child adoption agencies, the potential problems with birth parents rights, and the escalating costs of domestic child adoption have led many adopting families to consider international child adoption. However, many people do not recognize that international adoption has its own set of problems and that the international child adoption process is so very different from that of a domestic child adoption.
Over the last decade and especially over the last few years, many thousands of children have been adopted from foreign countries by U.S. citizens and citizen of other countries. In ever increasing numbers, the citizens of one country are adopting children from another country. This part of the site provides some very general information and guidance regarding international child adoption.
The international adoption process is different for every country but there are some similarities. Every international adoption has its potential problems and concerns such as ever changing and demanding paperwork, certification and apostilling of documents, travel issues, health concerns, and foreign country laws. A few of the major issues are mentioned below. These and many other concerns are addressed in detail on the China and Guatemala as well as Russia and more countries links of this website.
Adoptable children from foreign countries such as Russia and former Soviet Union countries, South America, Africa, India, and China may be suffering from some malnutrition and/or developmental delays. However, in general, the children adopted internationally are healthy.
For all but a very few countries, you will need to travel to the country. Some countries do allow you to adopt a child without ever having seen the child and without traveling to the foreign country, but this can be very risky and we strongly advise you not to do this. It is recommended that in every case you always see the child in person before you finally adopt the child. Note that if you do not see the child before the adoption the child will be issued a visa but you will have to re-adopt the child in the U.S. If you adopt a child through one of the most common international adoption programs, i.e. Russia, Guatemala, and China, you will travel to the country at least once, and sometimes twice, to first see and then adopt the child.
You are advised not to have the required Home Study started until you have finalized the selection of your child placing agency. This can save you time and money since it is often required that you have the Home Study be completed specifically by the placing agency.
Each state has a special website and special adoption contact to help you with a domestic or international child adoption. The chart below provides links to adoption information for every state. Other adoption resources for each state are the State Child Welfare website and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Information Gateway.
|Adoption Information Provided by State Agencies|
|D Columbia||North Dakota|
|Adoption Information for Countries around the World|
|Click here for:
Adoption information for countries around the world